The Not-So-Glamorous Aspect of Military Life

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.
~Attributed to Claudia Ghandi

As much as I love Army Wives, and as much as Hollywood glamorizes the life of a military spouse, it’s just not like that. Sure, we do get to see our men in hot uniforms and there are the joyous homecomings. And sure, you do usually get to become good friends with the spouses around you. But there are also times when your hot man in uniform is nowhere around, joyous homecomings seem worlds away and you are too new, or just haven’t met enough spouses yet.

I’ve been here in Washington for nine months (okay, well, 6 1/2 since I was gone for 2 1/2 months at Fort Meade). I’ve met some great wives and even one, who is quickly becoming my best friend. But she has a two year old and a two month old. So it’s not easy for her to drop everything and go if something happens.

You see, I blacked out today at the grocery store. As in, I was getting ready to pay for my stuff and the wave of blackness just roared in and I had to sit down before I fell. I vaguely remember hearing the cashier call for a manager and one shopper stopped by and told me I needed to put my head between my legs (though I know this, there was no way my legs were functioning at this point). A manager (or three, ha!) came over and were fussing over me. Luckily, I was feeling better… enough to start getting embarrassed.

They brought me some water and asked me if they could call someone to come and get me. That’s when the waterworks started. Because Huzzy wasn’t here to come and get me. And because the only other people I knew I could call have their own stuff to deal with (the two year old and newborn and another family that has four kids). I was also near the base, so they would have had to drive a short distance to where I was, and then a 40-45 minute to my house and then the same distance back. I couldn’t ask anyone to do that.

They asked if they could call me a taxi. Um, no. Do you have any idea how much a taxi would cost for that distance? Besides, I knew I was feeling better. So I just went out to my car and waited a bit before leaving.

I was fine. I made it home with no problem.

And before you worry about me, I’m fine. It all started with me having two fillings on Tuesday and I started feeling nauseous that evening. I was fine the next day until the evening and then I’ve been feeling icky ever since. I’ve had a headache, too, and my gums have just been ACHING. Even 800mg of ibuprofin haven’t helped.

So I went back to the dentist today. I totally wish Huzzy was here to drive me because I wasn’t feeling well.  The dentist ended up saying he didn’t believe the nausea and headaches were linked to the fillings, but that my gums WERE inflamed quite a bit. He rinsed out (BENEATH my gum’s ya’ll… can we say OUCH?!) the area with an antibiotic rinse and instructed me to rinse at home with salt water. Yum. I’m also supposed to watch for any additional swelling. If it swells more, I’m to call their answering service this weekend. If it isn’t better by Monday, I’m to come in again.

Did I mention I have a sincere fear of the dentist? Going in twice in one week (both of which were PAINFUL) was horrendous.

So yeah, military life isn’t glamorous. Don’t believe Hollywood. They never get it right.

So what was your least glamorous moment as a military spouse?

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16 thoughts on “The Not-So-Glamorous Aspect of Military Life

  1. Which base are you near? If it’s one that I’m near, if this EVER happens again you need to call me! I don’t mind driving distances to help people, especially fellow military wives in need, especially when their husbands are gone. It only takes me a few minutes to get me and my kids ready and in the car to go too.

  2. I am so sorry that you had that experience. Suprisingly, my least glamorous experience came when my husband was pushing boots. He may as well have been deployed for as much as I saw him. Anyway, I had been sick, went to the doctor and he prescribed me some meds. Meds that I was allergic to, but didn’t know it. So, I had an allergic reaction at my house. My neighbor (that I barely knew at that time) took me to the ER, I sat in the ER by myself, crying. My husband heard about my situation from other RDC’s that were marching by him. (this was before everyone had a cell phone.) He called me at the ER, said he was sorry, but he couldn’t come. I went home, fell asleep, thought someone was in my house at 11 at night (no, he still wasn’t home) and promptly dialed 911. No one was in my house, but it had been an awfully tiring day and the paramedics were very sympathetic. I think my husband got home a couple of hours later.

    In 18 years, believe me, I have others, but that one stands out the most. I try to look at the positive and say “Oh, look at all the character I am building.” But that is BS. It sucks. Plain and simple. I am sorry that you had to go through that today. I hope that you feel better soon.

  3. Stevie… I was between Bangor and Bremerton. And I appreciate the offer. Seriously. You made me cry because it was so sweet.

  4. there are tons of wives/families out there that are like stevie!! we are one of them too. i may have kids but mine are old enough to just say “get in the car, don’t ask questions we need to go help so-n-so” you need to ask for help!
    but i am glad you are ok

  5. Gosh, I’m not on a military base and I would have driven to help you too!

    My least glamorous moment? They happened frequently so it’s hard to pick just one. My husband came back from his deployment with severe PTSD and a TBI. Having his command call my cell phone to ask if I was his wife because he’d just blacked out in a hospital elevator kinda sucked, especially when he couldn’t even remember who he was, what happened, or why people were fussing over him. It was pretty tough trying to be the one who knew what to do at all times for my husband when I had not been prepped and didn’t have a single friend or know a single number of anyone on base. I had a lot of adjusting to do. Or maybe the worst was trying to get him deployed as a last resort (because he wanted to stay in and prove himself so badly) only to be put on TDRL and become homeless. That wasn’t very glamorous either. I dunno. I’ve got plenty of moments. I don’t have a very glamorous life. lol. That’s ok. : )

  6. So sorry that happened to you! I havent had anything that glamourous (or scary really!) but this last deployment I had to get some small pylops removed. The on-post hospital said after the procedure I had to have someone with me at all times for 24 hours. WTF! I was in your shoes, everyone had kids, their own lives to seal with….so I had to kennel my dogs and stay at a friends house. I’m such a baby, I stayed there the night before the procedure because it made me nervous to be in the house truly alone (without our 4 huge dogs). I felt like a dope.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband recently enlisted in the Navy & is working towards an air rescue contract right now, so I have yet to experience any of the scary parts of military life. I always look for the some of the downfalls when reading blogs because I find I hear so much about the good stuff. I don’t want to go into all of this too blind!

    I was always an independent person, until I met my hubby & after 7 years together, he has become my rock. I know, living in Vermont, that I couldn’t stay here without him because I HATE driving in the snow & the thought of him not being here in the winter months, worries me to no end (luckily we have a plan when he’s in boot camp). I always imagine, what if he wasn’t here & I hit black ice & crashed?? Who would I call?? I’m sure there are people I could call, but in moments like that, you never think of the perfect person.

    I hope you feel better & I hope hubby comes home soon!

  8. You totally could have called me too. Any. time. you. need. ANYTHING. CALL! And worst case scenario, you call Stevie and then she’ll call me to watch the kids:) And about the dentist-yucky. I hate going to the dentist!

  9. I am so sorry you had to deal with that. My least glamorous moment was when B was deployed, I was landlocked in the UK and fell into such a depression that I became suicidal. He was stressed because he was over there and when we contacted his command, all they threatened to do was take my daughter away, not get me help. My friend hid my daughter and I went to the ER solo only to have the shirt come berate me for being suicidal (like I would CHOSE to feel that way).

  10. praying that by the time you get this you are feeling better. I am beyond scared of the dentist so I totally understand that one

  11. I could also add to this list that living in one place for a few years isn’t much of a help. All the people you once depended on PCS (this is where Army Wives is so wrong – why do those people never move anywhere?!). We got stuck in Washington with an involuntary suspension. I was kind of done living in a place with no sunshine, and it didn’t help that I had to watch everyone I knew PCS ahead of us. So, even though we were stationary for six years, the last few were tough due mostly to a lack of friends for me.

    Really, though, my most “glamorous” moment was saying good bye to my hubby, then going to the doctor later that same day and finding out I had developed Preeclampsia in my eighth month. I was sent upstairs for monitoring, and ended up with a couple hours of terror as they determined how severe and what I would have to do about it. I ended up on bedrest for two weeks, and my husband was not sent home for it. Thankfully, it was while I had several very tight friends, and had people to call, but it was by far the worst moment of our military life. (Although having him still gone when the baby arrived was the second one!)

  12. I said “suspension”, but I actually meant “extension”, lol. He wasn’t in trouble or anything. Just has a critically manned rate, so they will do anything to hold on to their people at the boat level due to the difficulty of finding replacements.

  13. I’m glad you’re better now. I’d come get you if I was in Washington.

    I’ve had a few of those moments over the years. I think the most memorable was when I got to labor and delivery 35 weeks pregnant with our 2nd child to determine if my water had in fact broken. They determined it had, and was my husband in the waiting room? I had to tell them that he was 3 hours away and I needed to call him to come home. The look on their faces was priceless because the hospital was an hour from our house, and I had driven myself.

  14. I’m so sorry you’re having such a rough time. 😦 I would like to say that I think that it would be okay for you to call your friends who have children. I have a 20 month old and a 9 month old and if a friend needs me, I load them into the car and we go. It’s for a friend in need. I’m sure that your friends who have children feel the same way. I have a really great friend who had five children under the age of 7, and when one of her friends was in great need, she was right there to help, more often than not with children in tow. Her children learn from the experience to help people and get to watch their mom care for someone. Your friends with children want to help you, please don’t refuse their help because they have children. If I learned that a friend wouldn’t call me just because I have little kids, I would be really hurt. I would be missing out on a chance to help a friend – and that’s what friends are for.
    I’ll be praying for you through the holidays and things get better, and less painful, for you.

  15. I’m so sorry 😦 I do agree, as I’ve gotten older and more and more people that I’ve met have kids, it’s tougher and tougher to find people who you feel like you can turn to in a pinch without disrupting their lives. I am so glad that you made it home safely, and yeah, seriously, not so glamorous!! Oh except for how I’m best friends with the wing commander’s wife, and she totally helps us get whatever assignments we want! (Not.)

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